Joint replacement returns Philomath man to an active lifestyle

Berry Wulff on hill top
Feb 11,2013

“I got 10 years of my life back!” That’s how 72-year-old Barry Wulff of Philomath feels after two joint replacement surgeries.


“I’ve been an active guy my entire life,” said Wulff. “I was an avid backpacker and hiker and that, along with an old football injury I got in high school, eventually caught up with me.”


After two years of aches and struggling with pain after walking just a couple of miles, Wulff knew it was time to find a solution. Wulff sought treatment from orthopedic surgeon Stephen Newman, MD, of Samaritan Mid-Valley Orthopedics in Albany, who determined Wulff would need a partial knee replacement in his left knee and a full knee replacement in his right knee.


Wulff underwent his first joint replacement surgery at Samaritan Albany General Hospital in October of 2011, and Wulff credits Albany’s comprehensive joint replacement program, which was recently awarded five stars from HealthGrades® for the third year in a row, with getting him back to active so quickly.


“The program in Albany is incredible. Everyone at the hospital and clinic is just wonderful. I felt so confident in their ability that I didn’t think twice about the surgeries,” said Wulff. “From pre-op to post-op therapy, absolutely everything was planned out for me. I was really well taken care of throughout the entire process. If you follow the guidelines they develop for you, you will absolutely have a successful recovery.”


The joint replacement program was developed in 2008 by Samaritan Albany General Hospital and Samaritan Mid-Valley Orthopedics. The program emphasizes advanced preparation, education, group therapy and long-term outcomes tracking for all of its patients. In addition to the HealthGrades® recognition, which puts the program among the top 10 percent in the nation, the program enjoys a 95 percent overall satisfaction rating from its patients and is ranked sixth overall in Oregon.


Just four months after his partial knee replacement, Wulff was back at the hospital to get the full knee replacement.


“By Christmas I was walking three miles. I felt great and knew I was ready to get the second knee done,” said Wulff. “The therapy post-op was intense and tremendous with both surgeries. I went two hours a day, two days a week for four months and it was well worth it.”


In the six months following his full knee replacement, Wulff has logged 336 miles and 33,272 feet of elevation gain while hiking at some of his favorite regional spots, such as Mary’s Peak, Bald Hill, and Iron Mountain and The Twins in the Cascades.


“This brought freedom back to my life. Because I’m a passionate hiker and outdoors person, and I’ve traveled all over the world, mobility is very important to me, I have that again,” said Wulff. “And I can’t say enough about Dr. Newman and his team. They were so realistic, helpful and reassuring. They’re the best and I’m thankful to once again be active and enjoying something I’m so passionate about.”


For more information about Samaritan’s Joint Replacement Program, visit samhealth.org/Ortho.